After the Redskins asked fans to tweet their support for the team name toward the account of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Thursday afternoon, advocates on both sides argued that their position was predominant on the social media site.
A Redskins spokesman declined to comment on the Twitter reaction; Reid’s office, meanwhile, was thrilled with the results.
“From our perspective, what we saw was just overwhelming opposition” to the team name, Faiz Shakir, Reid’s digital director, told me. “It’s really made our day.”
Shakir did not know the Redskins were set to launch this campaign; when he saw the team’s tweet, he guessed “that they probably had coordinated something on the front end” and was waiting for Reid’s account to be besieged with protests.
That, though, isn’t what he saw. Shakir said he was “pleasantly surprised” by the reactions, many of which caused laughter in Reid’s offices.
“From my perspective, Twitter and social media in general is a wonderful outlet, because it gives a voice to so many people,” Shakir said. “What we saw was a collective, overwhelming outpouring that was heavily critical of the team. I hope that causes the organization to reflect on why that occurred.”